Diverticulitis occurs, when diverticula formed in the large intestine become inflamed. Diverticulosis can be explained as formation of small, bulging pouches, diverticula, along the intestinal wall. Generally, diverticulosis remains asymptomatic, not causing noticeable symptoms. When diverticula get infected or inflamed, the condition is known as diverticulitis. It causes severe abdominal pain. The formation of diverticula is associated with aging. People after the age of 40 tend to develop diverticulitis.
Causes and Symptoms of Diverticulitis
Consumption of diet with less amount of fiber is the major contributing factor for diverticulitis. Fiber makes the stool soft and bulky, so that it can easily pass through the intestine. An increased pressure of hard stools passing through the weakened intestine can lead to the formation of diverticula. Diverticulitis is more commonly seen in the industrialized nations like United States, where regular diet contains high amount of refined carbohydrates and low quantity of fiber. Other contributing factors are lack of exercise, obesity and smoking.
The symptoms of diverticulitis are acute and quite severe. The symptoms may worsen with time. Some of the common signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include abdominal pain and tenderness in the lower left side of abdomen, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, fever and changes in bowel habits.
Treatment for Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis is diagnosed on the basis of barium X-rays, ultra-sonography and CT scan. The treatment is decided depending upon the severity of symptoms. Mild cases can be treated with home remedies. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required to give intravenous antibiotics. The doctors also prescribe antispasmodics to relieve cramping and analgesics to reduce pain. If complications of diverticulitis are developed, surgery is advised. Additionally, there are certain natural remedies that are found to be quite effective in treating diverticulitis.
Diverticulitis Natural Treatment
The natural treatment for diverticulitis includes changes in lifestyle and dietary habits.
When you are suffering from diverticulitis, you need to take enough rest and relax your intestine to accelerate healing. Once the symptoms start to fade away, you can slowly increase the activity levels.
Regular exercising is also very important, which promotes normal bowel function and reduce pressure inside the colon. Daily exercise for at least 30 minutes is advisable.
Never fail to respond to bowel urges. Delaying bowel movements can lead to harder stools, which require more force to pass through the colon. It increases pressure within the colon, resulting in the formation of diverticula.
Since smoking is one of the contributing factors for diverticulitis, stay away from smoking.
Consumption of fiber-rich foods like whole grain breads, cereals, vegetables like peas, potatoes, spinach and squash, beans like kidney beans and black beans as well as fresh fruits like apples, pears and prunes is recommended to prevent recurrent diverticulitis. Daily consumption of fiber should be at least 25-35 grams. Avoid eating red meat, high fat foods as well as processed foods.
When you experience acute attacks of diverticulitis, you are suggested to remain on liquid diet including water, clear soda, broth, fruit juices like apple or grape juice without pulp or skin, ice chips and ice pops without fruit pulp or bits of fruit. Once the symptoms are reduced, you may slowly add low-fiber foods like canned or cooked fruits without seeds or skin, canned or cooked vegetables like peas, potatoes and green beans, fish, eggs, poultry, fruit juice without pulp, milk, cheese, low-fat yogurt, low-fiber cereals and white rice. When you completely feel better, you can gradually take regular diet. Additionally, you might be recommended to take fiber supplements like methylcellulose or psyllium one to three times a day as well as multi-vitamin supplements and probiotics. Drink plenty of water and fluid when on high-fiber diet, in order to avoid constipation.
You can also try herbal therapies for treating diverticulitis. The herbs like flaxseed, slippery elm, cat’s claw, wild yam, chamomile, licorice and marshmallow are found to be effective in reducing inflammation and strengthening the colon. Additionally, homeopathic medicines like belladonna, colicynthis and bryonia can be used to relive abdominal pain and cramping due to diverticulitis. Another therapy, acupuncture, can help relieve pain and other symptoms and promote gastrointestinal health.
Try Improvised Home Remedies for Quick Cure.